Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him,
“Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”
Realizing that the keys to the family kingdom, his family gods, had been stolen, Laban and his men mount up a posse and go in hot pursuit of Jacob.
Notice Laban is now called the “Aramean”.
Interestingly, in the King James version, he is called the “Syrian“.
Either way, for the first time in Scripture, Laban is now being labelled as a Gentile.
This signifies that the separation between Laban and Jacob is now complete and that what is to follow will be a heated negotiation between two different national entities.
While trying to overtake Jacob, God appears to Laban in a dream and says “Do not speak either good or bad to Jacob“.
This simply means that Laban is to not attempt to inflict physical harm on Jacob.
This situation reveals something quite interesting we see from time to time in the Scriptures.
God speaks to unbelievers.
However, the way He deals with unbelievers is obviously different than the way He deals with His chosen people.
One pattern I see is that when God speaks to unbelievers He is interceding for His people.
Remember when God spoke to Abimilech, telling him not to dare touch Abraham’s wife.
And here, He is interceding on behalf of Jacob, to ensure that Laban doesn’t harm him.
I’m so glad I worship a God that has got my back.
One point about Laban.
He was a spiritualist who accepted many gods.
So in his mind, Jacob’s god was just one of many gods that was speaking to him.
It seems that he even loved to invoke YHWH’s name when speaking to Jacob.
However, it wasn’t because he honored YHVH as the one and only true God.
He did it to win Jacob’s favor for his own selfish purposes.